GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - A full house of discontented citizens quickly filled up the Greenville County Council Chambers early Thursday evening.
Over the last few days, citizens in Spartanburg and Anderson have spoken out against the proposed rate hikes from Duke Energy in meetings of their own. Last night's meeting in Anderson drew three hours of heated criticism of the power provider from a variety of citizens, including property owners.
FOX Carolina's crew at the Thursday evening meeting in Greenvile noted that the room was filled around 5:48 p.m., with all 226 seats taken. We also saw a line at the door with people waiting for their turn to come in as others left. We also not the fire marshal was keeping constant count of who was in the chambers.
By our estimates, more than 400 people showed up to Thursday's meeting, and 98 signed up to speak.
We're speaking with some of the citizens who took the mic tonight and will have their sound tonight on FOX Carolina. Many of their complaints include how rates have supposedly skyrocketed after the installation of smart meters at their homes.
One speaker said they were trying to live more eco-friendly lives and are using solar energy, but said "The base fee going up is going to double my current bill when we’re trying to leave a small footprint.” Another citizen, an ill woman, had to have her son speak for her. He said "“Last two months it’s almost like someone’s double dipping. It says need to pay instead of what’s actually due. She’s not getting any credit.”
We also spoke with Duke Energy's spokesman. He did not have any comment on the smart meter complaints, but noted more than 500,000 smart meters have been installed in the Upstate and that there have been "limited issues" with them.